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Low Income Families Will be Exempted from Delayed Health Insurance Fees

Low Income Families Will be Exempted from Delayed Health Insurance Fees

Posted August. 04, 2003 21:59,   


The government is trying to come up with emergency measures to prevent low income families from committing suicide any more. Minister of Health and Welfare Kim Hwa-joong announced the emergency protection measures on August 4 at the Kwachon Government Complex to notify families with an average of less than 1.22 million won monthly income that they would be exempted from overdue payment of health insurance fees. So far, only those families with less then 1.02 million won income have been under the Basic Social Welfare System.

Minister Kim said, “We will exempt all delayed health insurance fees for those who cannot maintain their standard of living so that their medical treatment costs can be covered.”

According to the Ministry, some 1.52 million households have delayed their insurance fees for more than three months as of late June, with the total amount of delay fees reaching 630 billion won (410,000 won per house).

Some 500,000 households (1 million people) will benefit from the new emergency measures which will be implemented from September. Minister Kim also said, “We will launch an overall investigation for two months for the income bracket in question to figure out the exact situation, including the possibility of getting more funds.”

The Ministry is also planning to review whether those who are excluded from the conveniences of electricity and tap water as well as the Basic Social Welfare System would be able to get direct support from the government without complicated application procedures.

Kim later added, “After our investigation, those whose living has suddenly become difficult will be given an `emergency living allowance`.” The amount of the emergency allowance will be 415,000 won and be given for only one month. The Ministry also told that it would ask Community Chest of Korea to provide further support using “Lotto” lottery revenues.

It plans to establish a composite measure for the income bracket mentioned above by improving related regulations and standards after a thorough investigation.

“These emergency measures are not enough. We will set up long-term measures such as creating jobs and providing a free medical service,” Minister Kim added.

Jin Lee leej@donga.com